By Amanda McBride
The Choctaw Plaindealer
People with unpaid fines in the Town of Ackerman will soon have a representative from American Municipal Services contacting them for payment.
In the November 5 board meeting, the board listened to presentations from MS Warrant Network and American Municipal Services, both fine collection agencies.
Debbie Boley, town clerk, said the town has $88,000 in unpaid fines and that $50,000 of that goes to the state.
Police Chief Kevin Stark told the board he could use similar locating services and send letters of payment to people owing fines.
The board also discussed not sending people to collections that are currently making payments on a fine.
Kevin Null, board attorney, suggested asking municipal judge his opinion of hiring the collection agency.
The aldermen approved to hire American Municipal Services. This will not cost the town any money; the agency will add 25 percent of the fine to the person paying it.
The Board of Aldermen discussed how they could stop merchants from placing garbage cans on Main Street and Louisville Street. Ward 2 Alderman Tommy Curtis said he has received many complainants about how messy they are and unprofessional it looks.
Null suggested creating and enforcing an ordinance barring trash cans to be placed in those areas.
After a short discussion, the board approved to have Null draft an ordinance for review next month.
Another discussion on updating an ordinance began about long term parking on city streets. Mike Brasher, Public Works director, said vehicles parked on the street for long period of time are hazardous vehicles traveling on the road.
After a short discussion, the board agreed to have Null draft an updated policy.
Also in the Board of Aldermen meeting, John Peay attended the meeting to complain about the dogs barking at the Choctaw County Animal Clinic. He said he lives near the clinic and at night the barking dogs keep him up. The board said they are limited to what they can do since the clinic is in the correct zone for animal clinics and they have a privilege license.
“I’ll talk to her (Dr. Rita Morris) but it looks like it will be limited on what we can do,” said Ward 4 Alderman Billy Ganann.
Jigar Kadakia, owner of Mississippi Forge, asked the Board of Aldermen to grant his business tax exemptions such as property tax.
Mississippi Forge currently employs 12 people and Kadakia said he hopes to expand the workforce this year or by January.
Mayor Dick Cain said that only a portion of the Miss. Forge property is in the city limits.
The board said they would look into any possible tax exemptions. No action was taken at this time.
Ward 1 Alderman Willie Miller was absent from the meeting.
The next regularly scheduled Board of Aldermen meeting will be December 3 at 6 p.m. in the boardroom at Town Hall.